Is Your Coffee Causing Your Anxiety? Q&A with a Holistic Health Coach

eva-liao-bad-bitch.jpeg

Hi peops. I’d like you to meet one of my good friends and favourite human beings on earth… the beautiful Eva Liao!

Eva and I met almost a decade ago in Tokyo and I can remember our very first conversation so very clearly. She asked me if I had heard of the ‘Quarter Life Crisis’.

I was like, “the what?!”

For those of you who are unfamiliar, the QLC is kind of like a midlife crisis, but it happens way earlier (mid-late 20s), and is an epidemic amongst Generation Y & Millennials.

She was going through some stuff at the time and was feeling as if she was in the thick of her own QLC.

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Round Up: The Best Healthy Snacks for Summer 2017

Last month my very nice postman delivered 6 wellness subscription boxes for me to review and write about in the Evening Standard. As my mother has always said, I “eat like a bird” (i.e. little and very often) and as such snacks are pretty much my favourite thing ever.

The goodness project subscription box

Vegan Wellness Subscription Box from The Goodness Project

Through this assignment, I discovered some super cool healthy products that wouldn’t usually make it onto my radar and of course I want to share the love. Here they are – the perfect bites to keep your energy levels up in this summer heat.

Snack on! Pep ❤

  1. Dried Jujube fruit from Abakus Foods
    Vegan, Gluten Free
    abakusfoods.com | @abakusfoods

    Dried Jujube Fruit from Abacus Foods

    Dried Jujube Fruit – aka Red Dates – are popular in Asia

If you’ve never had a Jujube, think sort-of-a date but not as sticky. The Abakus website states that “This superfood is packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients, and are known to help uplift the mood, calm the mind, improve sleep, and boost the immune system. They are beneficial for overall health and vitality. The fresh fruit has 20x more vitamin C than citrus fruits!”

Jujube fruit (Red dates)

Toast with avocado, halved jujube fruits, blueberries and crunchy jujube sprinkles

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Sisters & Happiness

Today I had lunch with two sisters. One is a (my) yoga teacher, one a doctor, they were born 22 months apart. What a special honour! It reminded me that there is an energy and spirit between sisters that can’t be matched.

I ADORE my relationship with my younger sister. I love our conversation; the details of our daily lives, thoughts, emotions and relationships – often seemingly pointless to an outsider but so incrediblsisters-cactusy important to us.

I love our dynamic; no judgement whatsoever, even when one of us is acting good-crazy or bad-crazy.

I love our memories; our childhood habits & idiosyncrasies, our family holidays, our first-everythings.

I love our honesty; we’d both no doubt look and act like a hot mess without the tough love we direct at one another to course-correct bad decisions and cheer on the good ones.

I love that we share the same parents. That sounds dumb in writing, but who else can understand the intricacies of the most important relationships of our lives?

There was a study released several years ago that says sisters make you happier, more optimistic and “better at coping with life’s problems”. The theory is that the open communication sisters have is good for our emotional health.

Side note: after living with my sister for 3 months this summer I had to be careful when socialising with other people – we’d spent so much time together speaking SO openly and intimately that I became used to that level of conversation. Most inappropriate in the majority of social situations 🙂

I love you sis! There’s no one I’d rather share my chocolate cake with…

sisters-chocolate-cake-happy

Pep ❤

9 Things I Learned About Happiness from Living in Japan

japanFrom 2006 – 2010 I lived and worked in Japan; 2 years in the remote countryside and 20 months in the busy metropolis of Tokyo. The two places and experiences were so vastly different that they felt almost like living in two countries, but in both situations I observed and absorbed a lot about what can contribute to daily happiness.

This is not to say that the Japanese are a particularly happy nation; according to the 2016 World Happiness Report published by the UN each year, Japan ranks 53rd in terms of happiness sentiment amongst its population. This is quite a bit lower than the UK (23rd), Canada (6th) and the US (13th).

I can see why Japan ranks so averagely. It’s true that just observing many sectors of the population leaves you a little depressed: the middle aged man who works stressful, high pressure 16 hour days and never sees his family, the teenager who is too shy to leave his room, the woman who married too young and not for love and who was forced to give up all her hopes and dreams to attend to the house and kids. These are stereotypes, yes, but all characters I encountered frequently during my time there.

At the other end of the scale are some of the happiest, most at peace and self-aware people I’ve ever met. Many parts of the culture are just set up and designed to make you feel content. Japan is also the place where I figured out a lot about what made me happy (and quite a bit about what didn’t – perhaps I’ll save that for another time!), so without further ado, here’s my personal list of what Japan taught me about happiness.

ise-udon-696853_6401. A Passion & Gratitude for Food: No deprivation, no guilt, just real food and smaller portions. Japan has a phenomenal food scene. Despite the abundance of fish on every menu, it didn’t matter that I was a vegetarian; I still really, really enjoyed the food. It was seasonal, fresh and appreciated. When you grow up surrounded by rice farms, you know how precious and difficult to harvest each grain is. The same can be said for the fruit, vegetables and fish that make up the diet, and not a spoonful is wasted or thrown away. Each month there is a new fruit in the supermarkets to try, and my coworkers would often bring in boxes of fruit or vegetables sent from relatives elsewhere in the country. We’d all share the food and it was glorious. We all know that food can make us happy; eating healthily, seasonally and sharing food without guilt or counting calories only enhances this pleasure.

2. Bathing (and nakedness) is Great.  Continue reading

How to “Self Hack” Yourself to Be a Better Parent, Worker, Exerciser, HUMAN.

“Hacking” is a term used in the tech industry for writing software code that does not follow the rules of how code should be written. Sometimes it is “well-written and elegant”, and sometimes it is “pretty messy and ugly” – either way, if it should take days, weeks or months to write a project and someone manages to hack it out in a few hours by “violating the laws of code”, that’s a hack that has increased efficiency and saved time.

“Life hacking” has come to mean a similar thing, but in our day-to-day lives. It’s a trick, shortcut or other method that can increase productivity and efficiency. For example; painting your set of silver keys with different shades of nail varnish so you know which key is for which door (thus saving you time and stress), or hulling strawberries using a straw (see pic below – amazing). Continue reading